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Changing the Terms of the Discourse by Kumud Sharma

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Development of Women through the Five Year Plans

The approach to women’s development in the First Five Year Plan (1951–56) was not clear. The women’s question was perceived as primarily a social one by the major section of the political leadership and the bureaucracy and the role of the State in ‘social’ issues was viewed with great hesitation and caution. Significantly, issues identified by the National Planning Committee’s Sub-Committee on Women (“Women in a planned Economy” 1941) were not considered by the official planners a decade later. Instead women were projected as beings in need of education, health and welfare services only.

However, the Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB), setup in 1953, faced the problem of absence of any governmental ...

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